Counselling can help to alleviate some of the stresses many of us are experiencing during these difficult economic times. Our health is our wealth and more importantly, our mental health. For this reason, I am offering 30-minute online session for all those who are experiencing difficulty as a result of COVID-19 for £25.
With this in mind, I recognise the need for counselling and feel that finances should not be a barrier to accessing this support. I operate a sliding scale system for people who are experiencing financial difficulties. Talk to me about this when booking an appointment.
My sessions are priced as follows and all sessions are 50 minutes long:
EMDR sessions need more time; therefore, sessions are one and a half hours long:
EMDR sessions £67.50
Everything that you say to me in a counselling session is confidential. This means that whatever you tell me is in complete confidence and I will not share it with another person. However, there are certain restrictions to confidentiality; where I am bound by certain factors to report that information.
If I feel that you or another person is at risk of harm I will then have to share that information with an appropriate agency. There are other legal reason too, such as a disclosure of money or drug laundering, human trafficking or acts of terrorism; then I have a duty of care to report this as a safeguarding matter.
If I feel the need to do this, I will explore this with you before I have to report. Other times when I must break confidentiality include when I am court ordered to do so. I will discuss the boundaries of counselling at the start of sessions with new clients. I will give you space to explore this and clients are free to ask me questions throughout our sessions about the counselling boundaries.
In my experience unless a person is committed to attending the sessions, then it may not be the right time for that person to be in counselling. I often find a 'ripple effect' occurs in some relationships. This happens when one person undergoes therapy and experiences emotional and behavioural changes. This can have a positive effect on their partner too.
If you would like to start having counselling as an individual, you may wish to decide to ask your partner along to join you in a session when you feel the time is right for both of you. I provide a free telephone conversation with all prospective clients – perhaps your partner may like to undertake this with me to help to answer any concerns they might have? I would have an individual telephone conversation with you both, to ensure that the relationship between us remains as equal as possible.
Ideally, I suggest an initial six sessions in order for you to feel comfortable and to get to know me. It can take a few sessions to build up the relationship and the rapport between us.
Ultimately, you are speaking to a stranger initially, and I know all too well how challenging this can be. Six sessions can allow you to feel more comfortable sharing your inner most thoughts and feelings with me.
Some people find they have counselling on and off and only speak to a counsellor when they have a pertinent issue. Others, like me, feel that counselling is a part of their lives and see it very much as a ‘preventive’ measure and like to speak to someone in a professional capacity on a regular basis. There is no upper limit. I have some clients who have been having counselling for years.
For many, mindfulness is a way of life, rather than the use of techniques. It works very well in a therapeutic setting, along with positive psychology and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to help a person to break from over-thinking and anxiety.
Put simply, it is about being fully present in the 'here and now'. Techniques include breathing exercises, meditations, guided visualisations and writing exercises. It can be very powerful for many clients; particularly those who find it too painful to talk about certain experiences.
Clients always have a right to refuse any suggestions that I may make about using techniques in their sessions. The counselling session is their session. I may suggest undertaking a breathing technique or a guided visualisation at a particular moment in a session – if I felt it would be therapeutically beneficial; however, clients always the right to refuse. I strongly believe that clients are the experts on their lives.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help people to manage their behaviours that are causing them distress by challenging their thoughts. I use CBT techniques to help people to see that the way they think affects the way they feel which in turn affects the way that they behave.
I often introduce CBT worksheets or handouts that clients can choose to work on when they are at home. For instance I suggest clients complete a 'thought log' - to help to identity their irrational thoughts and beliefs. From this, we can challenge these together in sessions. CBT can be very effective for short term counselling.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a form of psychotherapy and originally developed by clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro as a way of working with clients and their trauma. EMDR can now be used to help clients with a range of issues including anxiety, phobias and much more.
EMDR helps to 'reprocess' the distressing memories by using repeated left to right (bilateral) stimulation of the brain while noticing different aspects of the distressing memory. Usually this done by following my hand left to right or by tapping on your hands. Memories of the traumatic event(s) are no longer distressing when brought to mind. What happened can still be remembered, but it is no longer distressing. This is particularly helpful for those clients who are experiencing distressing flashbacks or nightmares about a traumatic event(s).
As well as face to face counselling, I offer telephone counselling and online counselling. I will arrange a time with you, just like face to face and we can talk online or over the telephone. I feel it is more beneficial to have face to face counselling but I recognise that this isn't always possible.
Online and telephone sessions work the same as face to face with a few 'tweaks'. It is important to use an encrypted video conferencing service such as WhatsApp or Zoom to ensure that the session and information within the session remains confidential. Secondly, it is important for the client to be aware of where they will be for the duration of the session within their home (or workplace) to ensure that they have confidentiality. It is vital they are not overheard by a friends, colleague or family member. Clients sometimes like to be outside on a walk, for this reason.
Telephone and online counselling can be hugely beneficial for clients who are also limited on time. It is generally easier to arrange a time according to their schedule as they do not have to factor in travel time to my office.